How Identity Thieves Gain From Data Loss

Data loss is dangerous. It’s even more dangerous if the data loss consists of some very personal information. More often than not, they do. Pieces of information like your email address, date of birth, physical address, Social Security Number, passwords, and even family photos are just a few of the pieces of information that make up your personal data.  When you lose your personal data, those pieces of information go with them. That could be very dangerous.

Your personal data is very valuable. They’re valuable to huge companies that rely on consumer behavior for profit. That’s pretty much all of the companies that exist right now. These huge companies rely on data brokers to get all the information they need for marketing purposes, to say the least.

If you’re familiar with data brokers, this won’t come as a shock. But if you’re not already aware, data brokering is a multi-billion dollar industry made up of companies who collect consumer data and sell it to other companies, usually for marketing purposes.

(Via: https://www.webfx.com/blog/general/what-are-data-brokers-and-what-is-your-data-worth-infographic)

With data brokering becoming a multi-billion-dollar industry, you probably can’t help but wonder how much your personal information is actually worth. Well, here goes.

As it turns out, consumer data is worth a lot of money. The average email address is worth $89 to a brand over time, so it makes sense that they are willing to pay for that kind of information. In 2012, the data brokering industry generated $150 billion in revenue – that’s twice the size of the entire intelligence budget of the United States government. Now, data brokering is a $200 billion industry, and it isn’t showing any signs of becoming any less profitable.

(Via: https://www.webfx.com/blog/general/what-are-data-brokers-and-what-is-your-data-worth-infographic)

It’s important to note that data brokers are able to gather pieces of information with the consent of the consumer. So, there’s no data loss since consumers share their data freely. Sure, the consumer can always refrain from sharing their personal data but that’s not usually the case. As it is, shared data is already fueling a multi-billion industry, what more lost or stolen data?

There are serious repercussions of losing personal information. One of which is identity theft. If you think identity theft isn’t real, well, it is. Identity thieves actually steal personal information. They either sell it or use it to commit a crime. It’s very easy for them to get away with a crime if they’re using somebody else’s identity.

Once identity thieves have your personal information, they can drain your bank account, run up charges on your credit cards, open new utility accounts, or get medical treatment on your health insurance. An identity thief can file a tax refund in your name and get your refund. In some extreme cases, a thief might even give your name to the police during an arrest.

(Via: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0271-warning-signs-identity-theft)

The best way to take care of your personal information is to avoid data loss. Yes, you can also avoid sharing them. There’s just too much personal information that can be retrieved from lost or shared data. Identity thieves can easily make use of a piece of information to know more about you. Admit it. These days, that’s not hard to do.

A thief could plug your name and address into a publicly searchable database to see what other pieces of information can be found. One website charges as little as a dollar for reports that include someone’s phone numbers, marriage and divorce records, education records, employment history, and more. These pieces of PII could potentially be used to open new financial accounts.

(Via: https://www.lifelock.com/learn-identity-theft-resources-can-your-identity-be-stolen-with-only-a-name-and-address.html)

Here’s a scary thought. Identity thieves don’t really have to rely on data loss. They’re very crafty people that they can easily steal personal information. Any kind of lost or shared data just makes it a lot easier for them. It is a fact that they gain a lot from data loss.

So, what can you possibly do to protect yourself from data loss? It’s easier said than but you have to recover your data as soon as possible. For a fast and safe data recovery, you can check out https://www.harddriverecovery.org/data-recovery-services.html.

If you’re able to recover your data right away, you’ll know what kind of information was lost. From there, you can take various steps to protect yourself from identity theft.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *